Feb. 4, 2008
Baldwin City, Kan. — Celebrating its sesquicentennial throughout 2007-2008, Baker University will commemorate its Founders Day on Tuesday, Feb. 12, by observing its rich heritage, hosting an all-campus luncheon and offering a commemorative postmark.
On Feb. 12, 1858, James W. Denver, the governor of the Kansas Territory, signed the Baker University charter, which had been approved by the legislature, making Baker the first university in Kansas. Founded by Methodist ministers, the university currently serves nearly 4,000 students in Kansas and Missouri.
For the Founders Day celebration, some Baker professors plan to integrate teachings from the mid-1800s into their classroom experience by including historical material. Also that day, Baker theater students will portray historical Baker characters. The list of characters include Warren Ault, a Rhodes Scholar in 1907, and Lizzie Keifer, a student who kept a detailed journal in the 1860s.
From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the students, faculty and staff are invited to an all-campus luncheon at Harter Union. During the luncheon, prizes will be given away and students can have their photos taken with WOWzer, the Wildcat mascot.
The U.S. Postal Service will help celebrate the sesquicentennial by issuing a commemorative postmark. The special postmark will feature the university’s seal, which has served Baker since its golden anniversary celebration in 1909. Its Latin motto is translated to “Let him first be a man,” and it contains three Greek words for “soul,” “mind,” and “body.” At the center of the seal is the lamp of learning on the open book of knowledge. Baldwin City Postmaster Joan Welch will imprint postmarks on pre-stamped envelopes from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Harter Union on Feb. 12. The commemorative postmark is free. However, it can only be placed on first-class mail postage and is valid only on February 12th. After that date, the postmark becomes a collector’s item and cannot be used for postage.
Since its founding 150 years ago, Baker has evolved with four schools and degrees ranging from associate to doctorate. The College of Arts and Sciences in Baldwin City offers undergraduate degrees in more than 40 areas of study. The School of Professional and Graduate Studies serves working adults with numerous program son campuses in Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita and Lee’s Summit, Mo. At the School of Nursing, Baker partners with Stormont-Vail HealthCare in Topeka to offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The University’s newest school, the School of Education, offers bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degrees on several campuses.